Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Contrast of Democracy and ill-Democracy

Taiwan is holding its first ever referendum in Peng Hu over the issue of building casino resort.

In contrast with Singapore's PAP government's handling of such controversial issue of building Casino resorts, the Taiwanese has shown much more respect of popular will in deciding such decisions.

The main reason given by PAP is that they have the "mandate" by the people who have given them overwhelming support in past elections. Thus, they do not see the need of seeking referendum over such controversial issue. But we have to remember the fact that more than half of PAP's seats are uncontested seats. i.e. these MPs and Ministers did not get a single votes to walk into parliament. Yes, this is partly due to the weakness of Singapore opposition parties but the fact still remains, they did not earn their votes and mandate to represent Singaporeans at large in deciding on such controversial issue.

My wish is to have ALL seats contested by opposition but it seems that this is hard to be fulfilled in the next elections. Nevertheless, I hope that Singaporeans that have the chance to cast their votes next elections have to think carefully about the impact of giving PAP overwhelming dominance in the parliament. They would have the power to do whatever they want in parliament. Such unchecked powers is dangerous for Singapore. It has proven in the past that such monopoly of power has resulted in a few controversial and wrong policies made, eg. Two is Enough policy, Asset Enhancement...etc.

Vote wisely because if all of us don't vote wisely, more controversial decisions would be bulldozed by PAP without taking citizens' voice into account.

Goh Meng Seng


Anonymous said...

Popular votes does not mean the RIGHT thing to do. Especially when handling things with regards to economy, it's better to make decision using your wise head.

You can put a referendum COE ERP good or not, i don't believe people will say good, but that's because they are only considering things from their point of view. You are the one in the driver seat, you listen to them you die.

Sometimes you gotta decide for people how they behave, freedom does not mean freedom at all cost. There is a responsibility to it too.

Anonymous said...

The last time they did a referendum was on joining Malaysia. There were some options on how to join Malaysia. The No option was never there. If there was a referendum it would be to choose A, B and C.

A: Have an IR with a casino and hotels.
B :Have an IR with an entertainment complex and a casino.
C: Both of the above.

Goh Meng Seng said...

I do not encourage any government of the day to go for referendum just for any major policies.

But for the casino resort, it is not merely about economic benefits, there is a huge potential social impact brought upon by the casino resort.

There are ample evidences and studies made elsewhere to point to the fact that Casino affect the societies that host them.

You can read about it in my blog entry:

I reiterate, this is a CONTROVERSIAL issue and it merits a referendum.

For an update, Taiwanese in Peng Hu has rejected the Casino Resort, a great success for the Anti-Casino movement there.

Goh Meng Seng

Anonymous said...

But...many things has social ills in this society. Does it mean we hold referendum for them all? Does it mean if it's bad for certain people and might cause concerns for minority, then we overlook the greater benefits that can be

I understand where you're coming from but why not we do something and counter it. Just like computers will get hot and maybe will catch fire, maybe bad for environment but it does not mean we don use cmputers also right, we invent coolers to cool it. NEgate the side effect. It does not mean we put a stop to things when it can cause side effect, we think of ways to minimise the side effect. AT the end of the day, people wanna gamble their money, they will go anywhere to gamble, you lose out on those money to malaysia to macau, why? You see, in the past smoking was allowed in aircraft, now aircraft all banned. Now pubs also start to ban, in Europe they are starting. So why? It mean that as this world globalise, you cannot run like a north korea. You gotta run with the times. You gotta see the benefit as well as the side effects. Yes there is side effect but so does a play of char kway teow. Does it mean you dont eat char kway teow? no. you see doctor and negate that. If you have high blood, you take pills, but you still wanna eat char kway teow and KFC right? Life is about fulling the potential. Yes there may be a negative side to it but life is not about discarding whatever that is negative. At times negative can also has its benefits, as long one take it in the right spirit. Live life to the edge! Push it out as far as you can. Or you rather sit back and do nothing?